Evin Lewis slaughtered the Barbados bowling for 97 in just 32 balls as St Kitts & Nevis overhauled the small target of 129 in just seven overs. © Getty Images

Evin Lewis slaughtered the Barbados bowling for 97 in just 32 balls as St Kitts & Nevis overhauled the small target of 129 in just seven overs. © Getty Images

Evin Lewis completely overshadowed Chris Gayle as he hammered an unbeaten 97 off just 32 deliveries to help St Kitts & Nevis Patriots finish second in the league table and give themselves two shots at entering the final of the Caribbean Premier League 2017.

Lewis blasted away to his 50 off just 19 deliveries, and eventually finished with six fours and 11 sixes, while Gayle was on a stately 22 off 14 deliveries when the Patriots overhauled Barbados Tridents’ 128 for 9 in just seven overs in Bridgetown on Sunday (September 3).

Lewis, the left-hand opener, needed a boundary to bring up the fastest CPL hundred with the scores level when Kieron Pollard deliberately bowled a no-ball to deny his Windies team-mate the chance to bring up three figures.

Christian for Trinbago
Moving swiftly ahead of Qualifier 1, Trinbago roped in Daniel Christian, the Australian allrounder, as replacement for Brendon McCullum.

McCullum broke his arm during Trinbago’s clash against Barbados and has been ruled out of the tournament. Christian is coming off leading Nottinghamshire to their maiden title at the T20 Blast, which ended in England on Saturday.

Simon Katich, the Trinbago coach, said, “Losing an iconic figure like Brendon to injury is clearly a massive loss to the team, but in Daniel, we have a proven match-winner who has just led a side to a T20 title in England. We hope that he can make it two trophies in two weeks with us in Trinidad.”

The ten-wicket defeat ended Barbados’s interest in the tournament while St Kitts finished second with 13 points from 10 games, behind Trinbago Knight Riders. St Kitts and Trinbago will meet in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday.

The carnage began early in the chase when Lewis smashed Wayne Parnell for three sixes in the second over, favouring the leg-side and allowing Gayle to operate in his wake. By the time the Power Play was done with, St Kitts had blazed to 105, the joint highest tally in T20 history.

Lewis appeared well on course to register the second fastest T20 century when Pollard came up with the no-ball reminiscent of the one Suraj Randiv bowled in a One-Day International in Dambulla in 2010 to leave Virender Sehwag stranded on 99.

Barbados’s hopes of putting up a decent tally on winning the toss lasted just five overs. Nicholas Pooran fell to Mohammad Hafeez off the final ball of the fifth over with 43 on the board, and Dwayne Smith was dismissed next ball on the pull by Carlos Brathwaite.

Tion Webster and Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, added 31 at under a run a ball. With the overs running out and the need to up the rate of scoring becoming more and more pressing, Williamson fell slog-sweeping Tabraiz Shamsi. When Mohammad Nabi was cleaned up by Eoin Morgan, Barbados were in serious strife at 76 for 4 in the 12th over.

There was no late flurry as Brathwaite, the Windies Twenty20 International skipper, worked his way through the tail after accounting for Pollard, batting at No. 7. Webster top-scored with 32 off 25 deliveries but with Brathwaite picking up 4 for 15, Barbados’s hopes quickly went up in smoke.

Barbados finished fifth in the six-team league with eight points, while St Lucia Stars brought up the rear, their lone point from 10 outings coming courtesy a washout.